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This page contains two cases:
  • Effect on easement contained in lease when it merges with the freehold - Wall v Collins
  • Effect on easement where use made impossible by statutory obligation - Jones v Cleanthi

Easement appurtenant to lease

Effect of merger with freehold

Wall v Collins
[2007] EWCA Civ 444.

Carnwarth LJ at para 16 and 18:
    " .. merger of the lease into a larger interest in the dominant tenement is not in itself fatal to the continued existence of the easement, for the period for which it was granted. The dominant tenement remains unchanged and there is no legal impediment to the continued enjoyment of the easement by the occupier for the time-being of that tenement..

    .. Mr Foster accepts, as I understand him, that in respect of the servient tenement, the merger of the leasehold with the freehold would not remove the burden of the easement, at least for the period of the original lease. This seems right as a matter of common sense. The owner of a servient tenement should not be able to escape the burden of an easement by dealings to which those interested in the dominant tenement are not parties. Equally, as a matter of common sense, it is difficult to see why a lessee should be worse off, so far as concerns an easement annexed to the land, merely because he has acquired a larger interest in the dominant tenement."
Hooper LJ agreed with Carnwarth J simply adding:
    "There must be many properties, particularly in urban areas, which share a similar history to that of number ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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